Ready to Respond

By Jennie Mclamb, CPP, PSP, PCI

The intervention training officers receive is not like the workplace-violence awareness training offered to nonsecurity employees. This is because security officers, who have little day-to-day interaction with staff and visitors, won’t have a chance to spot the behaviors nonsecurity staff are told to look for—such as changes in mood or attitude. In addition, nonsecurity employees are taught to run or hide, whereas security officers must respond to the incident.

The training recognizes that officers are typically brought into a situation only when a person already poses some level of threat—enough that someone felt it necessary to call security. As a result, the curriculum covers the warning signs and behavioral indicators that security officers are likely to see when they arrive at the scene in response to an incident or a call. These signs and indicators are broken down into three categories: medium, high, and severe. (see sidebar, starting on page 34).


The second day of training focuses on the ways in which security policies and procedures can prevent workplace violence. For example, one way is for human resources to notify security immediately when an employee is terminated or when a customer, client, vendor, or contractor is banned from the location. However, this doesn’t always happen. As a result, the disgruntled employee who was terminated yesterday or some other banned and angry individual may be unwittingly waved through by security today.

By adhering to established access control procedures and policies and making each individual present a valid ID badge, security can mitigate the risk. If a person doesn’t have a badge, security should contact the individual’s supervisor or the person being visited.

The officers receive additional training in confrontation management, de-escalation techniques, and nonviolent crisis intervention.



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